HIIT workouts, a.k.a., High-Intensity Interval Training, are sweeping the fitness community because they burn maximum calories in a minimum amount of time.
And while interval training is nothing new, the particular combination of high-intensity drills in a circuit with interval rep sessions is being touted as one of the best (and most hardcore) full-body and endurance workouts ever.
The best part? Because it’s done as such an intense level, a full-body HIIT workout can be accomplished in just 20 minutes.
So where do you begin? We’ve put together a 20-minute workout that will get you in shape, fast.
Below is a series of 15 HIIT exercises at timed intervals. One circuit takes 10 minutes. Have a trainer or a workout buddy use a stopwatch to time your intervals, if possible.
Do the following circuit twice for a 20-minute whole body workout.
1:00 Jumping Jacks – Keep strong arms and legs (no noodle limbs). Do these at a fast pace with controlled breathing. Engage your abs. Move your arms to increase the cardio effect of this move, though stationary arms with your hands behind your head is OK, too.
0:30 Side Lunges – Keep your hands on your hips, your back straight and your core engaged. Lunge to the side so your working leg is at a 90-degree angle during the lunge. Don’t let your knee extend out over your toes. (This may result in knee pain and injury.)
0:30 Squats – Keep your feet shoulder width apart, arms straight out in front of you. Engage your core and squat, as if sitting in a chair behind you. At the bottom of the squat, your legs should form 90-degree angles.
1:00 Jog in Place – This one-minute interval can be intensified by jogging with high knees, but it isn’t necessary unless you just want to amp it up. Don’t just shuffle those feet for a minute; jog so that each foot is lifted at least six inches off the ground.
0:30 Burpees – You should know how to do a burpee by now, but in case you forgot: Start by standing up straight. Go immediately into a squat position quickly. From here, in one fast motion, shoot your legs out behind you and your arms in a push-up position. Do a push-up with your core engaged and your back straight. Quickly bring your legs in and return to the squat. Now jump as high as you possibly can. Land and go immediately back into a squat and that is one burpee. This is quite literally a full body exercise!
0:30 Lunges – With your hands on your hips, step forward with one leg. Bend that leg to a 90-degree angle with your knee never extending out past your toes. To come out of the lunge, push off with your foot and return to centre. Now do the other side. You should feel this in your quads and glutes.
1:00 Jump Rope – Any jump rope will do. For higher intensity you can use a rope with weighted handles. Don’t let yourself get all limp and noodley; keep your back straight and core engaged. Consider this one minute jump rope interval a break but still give it your all.
0:30 Mountain Climbers – In a push up position, bring your knees up toward your chin one leg at a time. Do these extremely quickly, one leg after another, so that your legs are always moving. Don’t let your hips sag or raise – keep your body as straight as possible to get the most out of this move.
0:30 Speed Skaters – This is a side to side move. Aim to have your arms and body positioning like that of an Olympian speed skater. Stand on one foot, bend your standing leg and push yourself off to the other side. You should be traveling several feet with each jump. When you jump and land, bring your arms across your body in one smooth movement. Land only on the opposite foot, and keep your other foot off the ground. With each jump to the side, land with a slight knee bend. You will feel this in your quads and calves.
1:00 Butt Kickers – Jog in place. With each step, kick high enough that your foot hits your butt.
0:30 Lunge Kicks – Step forward into a lunge, then kick your back leg out in front of you. Return to the centre and switch legs.
0:30 Squats – With your arms straight in front, squat as you’re sitting in an invisible chair. Keep your abs engaged and avoid extending your knees past your toes. Repeat for 30 seconds.
1:00 March in Place – This is a good opportunity to catch your breath. March in place.
0:30 Side Lunges – Place your hands on your hips, while keeping your back straight and your core engaged. Lunge to the side so your working leg is at a 90-degree angle during the lunge.
0:30 Push Ups – Keep your body straight; no sagging back or hips.
Once round of these intervals takes 10 minutes. Did you finish the list? Congratulations! Now do it again to complete your 20-minute full body HIIT workout.
Love this workout? Try it for 30 days: We promise you’ll be at the results!